Interferon lambda: A new sword in cancer immunotherapy

Ahmed Lasfar, Walid Abushahba, Murugabaskar Balan, Karine A. Cohen-Solal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The discovery of the interferon-lambda (IFN-λ) family has considerably contributed to our understanding of the role of interferon not only in viral infections but also in cancer. IFN-λ proteins belong to the new type III IFN group. Type III IFN is structurally similar to type II IFN (IFN-λ) but functionally identical to type I IFN (IFN-α/Β). However, in contrast to type I or type II IFNs, the response to type III IFN is highly cell-type specific. Only epithelial-like cells and to a lesser extent some immune cells respond to IFN-λ. This particular pattern of response is controlled by the differential expression of the IFN-λ receptor, which, in contrast to IFN-, should result in limited side effects in patients. Recently, we and other groups have shown in several animal models a potent antitumor role of IFN- that will open a new challenging era for the current IFN therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number349575
JournalClinical and Developmental Immunology
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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